Christmas

Chicago Woman Spends Every Christmas Giving Back In Memory Of Son Fatally Shot By Police

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A Chicago mother, whose son was killed by police in a controversial shooting now spends every Christmas season trying to help other children in the neighborhood.

“It just feels good to help and give back,” said Dorothy Holmes.

Her dining room is filled with dozens and dozens of toys—all placed under the Christmas tree from barbies to cars for boys and girls across the city.

“It looks like a Toys-R-Us in here,” she laughed.

Holmes has been collecting toys for several weeks now. She purchased some of the toys with her own money and others were donated for her annual holiday toy drive.

“It makes me happy because I know I helped a family,” she said. “So it makes me happy.”

She started the toy drive in memory of her son Ronald Johnson. The 25-year-old was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in October of 2014. The shooting was ruled justified by former Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

“I have my good days and my bad days,” she said. “I think yesterday was probably my bad day.”

She said her son would have turned 34 yesterday.

“I wish this pain on no mother, no mother or father,” she said. “I wish this pain on no one.”

Since his death, Holmes has made it her mission to spread holiday cheer helping to lift the spirits of other families in need.

“One year, I stood down the street at school and open up the hatch of the truck as the kids were walking past,” she said. “I was like, ya’ll want some Christmas toys? I’m like Merry Christmas! They all just stopped, like, all these toys?”

Holmes said doing this every year has given her a greater sense of purpose.

“Just to see a child smile because I don’t know if this is the only gift they’re getting or not,” she said. “Just to see the expression on their face of them receiving the gift, you know, it helps.”

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